Premier League 2020/21 Season Preview

Premier League 2020/21 Season Preview: Who are the Premier League title favourites? Who could face the drop? Any big potential surprises?


The waiting is over as Premier League is returning with a brand new season in England. We provide a rundown of the state of play, schedule, players, teams and more…

When is Premier League returning? 

Premier League returns with the respective portion of four matches played on 12th September, starting with London derby between Fulham and Arsenal at 12:30 pm and finishes off with Liverpool vs Leeds at 5:30 pm. The first game week is scheduled to end on 14th September, with Brighton & Hove Albion taking on big-spenders Chelsea.

How are games being scheduled in the league? 

Everything is coming back to normal. Match weeks are scheduled one week apart from each other, mostly on the weekends and Mondays like we were accustomed to before the pandemic. There is no information yet about the mid-week and Friday fixtures. 

What time do games usually kick off in Premier League? 

For now, Saturday games are scheduled to start with one game at 12:30pm, moving on to 3pm games and finishing with the evening game at 5:30pm. Sundays comprise 12pm, 2pm and 4pm matches and Mondays offer 8pm games as usual.

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Who won promotion to the Premier League for the 2020/21 season? 

Leeds United

West Yorkshire club has ended their 19/20 Championship journey on the 1st place and guaranteed their promotion to Premier League after 16 years of absence. The team got also very close to English top-flight in 2018/19 when they have lost in the playoff semifinals to Derby County.

It was a very stressful time for Leeds since the league resumption, as there was only one point separating them from 2nd West Brom breathing down their neck. Fortunately for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, they have won seven out of nine games, which translated into respective 10 point gap between them and West Brom at the season end.

West Bromwich Albion

West Brom has finished 2nd in Championship and it is good news for the fans to see their beloved club back again in Premier League after a two-year absence. West Brom similarly to Leeds got also very close to getting promoted in 2018/19 season. It was, however, Aston Villa who became a better side by sealing a win in penalties in the playoff semifinals.

The battle over 1st place was between Leeds and West Brom in the last fixtures of the season, leaving rest of the pack below 2nd. Brentford was one of the Slaven Bilic’s side biggest threat in the last nine fixtures; The Bees have registered 24 points out of a possible 27 and finished only two points below West Brom.

Fulham

The famous Cottagers didn’t wait too long to get a Premier League promotion after their short one-year absence. They have finished 4th in Championship and battled their way up in in the playoffs. They have faced dangerous Brentford in the final where they sealed a late win thanks to Joe Bryan’s crucial two goals in extra time.

Fulham after Championship resumption has been sitting in 3rd with five points above the 7th place leaving the team a bit of comfort in the race for desired Premier League promotion. Ultimately 17 points from nine games got them into 4th place and since they have won the playoffs, we will see them back again in the English top-flight.

Which teams were relegated from Premier League last season? 

Bournemouth

Eddie Howe’s romantic journey with The Cherries has ended after Bournemouth finished 19th and got relegated back to Championship after five years. The Englishman took over the club in 2012/13 and three seasons later got the team promoted from League One to Premier League. Jason Tindall, the former assistant manager, is now the person in charge of the team.

Bournemouth has been a textbook mid-table team during their 5-year Premier League journey. They have, however, suffered a major setback this season, mainly in the second half by winning only three games until the end of the season. Mission Premier League would be still alive, If not Aston Villa’s crucial draw in the last fixture leaving Bournemouth one point behind, despite them having a better goal difference.

Watford

Watford after an exciting 5-year journey in Premier League gets relegated to Championship after finishing 19th this last season. The Hornets similarly to Bournemouth have been one step away from maintaining in Premier League for another season by registering 34 points, but having a worse goal difference.

The fixtures haven’t helped The Hornets. They have played the likes of Leicester, Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal since the league resumption. They have faced The Gunners in the last fixture and despite getting close to defeating the Arteta’s side; they have lost 3-2 which ultimately redounded to them getting relegated to Championship.

Norwich City

Many had already written the Canaries off before their Premier League journey began last season, despite very good first impressions. The club was, at first sight, seen as a new almighty underdog to mess with a big boys’ club. Giving a hard time to Chelsea, winning with Man City in the first weeks have given us a lot of reasons to get excited for Norwich. Teemu Pukki’s hat-trick in the second game week and six goals overall in the first five matches for the Finn has made us respect the team even more.

Unfortunately, Norwich’s flirtatious relation with Premier League has quickly become a blurry memory from the past after suffering a major setback. Once thought as Leicester’s successor was now battling their way through Premier League’s reality. Ultimately, the club has ended way below any expectations on 20th place with 21 points to their name. The question now is how long will it take to see The Canaries back again in the English top-flight.

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Who won the Premier League title last season? 

Liverpool has finally put an end to their 30-year run without the league title by sealing a very much desired Premier League trophy for the first time in the club’s history. An enormous 17 points difference between them and 2nd Man City is only a validation of their incredible journey last season. 

What Premier League records have Liverpool set in 2019/20 season?

  • Registering 25-point-lead, the biggest ever in the English top-flight history
  • Claiming earliest title win, 7 matches before the end of the Premier League season
  • Setting a record of 24 consecutive Premier League home wins
  • Setting a record of 104 points from 38 Premier League games
  • Reaching the fastest 30th win in a single season; Liverpool needed only 34 matches to achieve that
  • Registering 79 points from the first 27 games, the most among Europe’s top five leagues
  • Equaling 18 home wins in a single Premier League season
  • Equaling 32 wins in a single season set by Man City in 2017/18 and 2018/19

Source: Premier League

What were the talking points from the 2019/20 Premier League season? 

For talking points from the 2019/2020 Premier League season, click here

Who were the top players last season? 

For the top players from the 2019/20 Premier League season, click here

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Team Previews

Arsenal (19/20 – 8th in Premier League)

After 25 consecutive years of finishing in top six, Arsenal had a horrible season finishing 8th. However, there is plenty of optimism under new boss Mikel Arteta and the club has been busy so far in the transfer window. They have strengthened their defence with Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille and now have William Saliba from Saint-Etienne this season.

They have also sealed experienced Brazilian Willian for free from Chelsea and yet again loaned Dani Ceballos until 30th June 2021. I can see Arsenal get back fighting for their European spot in the top six next season.

Aston Villa (19/20 – 17th in Premier League)

Aston Villa has been one point away from getting relegated back to Championship, but fortunately for The Lions, they have finished 17th and will play in the English top-flight for at least another season. For now, they have welcomed only one new signing, English right-back Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest.

If they want to avoid a re-run from 2019/20, they should certainly consider strengthening a team with some more new transfers. I consider Aston Villa as one candidate to get relegated.

Brighton Hove & Albion (19/20 – 15th in Premier League)

Brighton has finished 15th this season and since their first-ever promotion to Premier League in 2017/18, they haven’t been able to finish above 15th. They have respectively drawn 1-1 with Chelsea and 0-0 with West Brom in pre-season. They have achieved to keep Ben White in the club after his one-year journey on loan in Leeds and to sign Adam Lallana from Liverpool and Joel Veltman from Ajax. 

I can see Brighton finally finishing above 15th in Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.

Burnley (19/20 – 10th in Premier League)

Finishing 10th with only six points from qualifying to European Cups is a solid achievement for Burnley. The club has only signed a goalkeeper Will Norris as an alternative for Nick Pope since Joe Hart leaving to Spurs. Jeff Hendrick after becoming free agent has also left the club and joined Newcastle United. It is also possible to see one of the fan’s favourites, James Tarkowski, to leave this transfer window following West Ham’s and Leicester’s enormous interest in the centre-back.

Considering the club’s current transfer philosophy, I can’t imagine them to finish again 10th or above.

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Chelsea (19/20 – 3rd in Premier League)

The Blues have finished 4th with only goal difference separating them from 3rd Man Utd. The club has gone big on the spending after their one-year transfer ban. Signings of experienced Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have cost the club approximately £150m.

The expectations from the club and the new arrivals will be high and I believe top four spot should be the least for the team stuffed with that many quality players.

Crystal Palace (19/20 – 14th in Premier League)

Crystal Palace has finished in 14th, ordinarily for the mid-table team who has been back to back finishing around 10th and 15th place since 2013/14 season. The signing of 22 years old Eberechi Eze from QPR should strengthen the club’s offensive as the team has been lacking with alternatives upfront.

Crystal Palace has also sealed an exciting prospect, Nathan Ferguson, from West Brom for free who is believed to be Aaron Wan Bissaka’s successor. I expect Crystal Palace to finish around mid-table and relegation zone.

Everton (19/20 – 12th in Premier League)

After three years Everton has yet again finished below top half in 12th place, which is not what we expect from the club of this size. For now, Carlo Ancelotti has welcomed Allan from Napoli, who is believed to add a lot of quality in the middle. James Rodriguez from Real Madrid and Abdoulaye Doucoure from Watford have also joined the Toffees.

Everton has let Leighton Baines go on retirement after a memorable 13 years with the club. I can see Everton finishing in the top 10, however, it would be hard for them to achieve anything above 9th place.

Fulham (19/20 – 4th in EFL Championship)

The Cottagers have waited only one year to be welcomed back to Premier League after sealing promotion in the Championship playoffs. The club has completed the transfers of Anthony Knockaert from Brighton, Antonee Robinson from Wigan and stripped Southampton of Harrison Reed for 9m euros and Mario Lemina on loan.

I can see history repeat itself, with Fulham getting relegated after only one season in the English top-flight.

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Leeds United (19/20 – 1st EFL Championship)

Marcelo Bielsa’s side has ended 1st in Championship and got promoted to Premier League after 16 years of absence. The club has been pretty busy this transfer window so far. They have signed Rodrigo from Valencia for a huge £30m. Also joining the Yorkshire club includes Helder Costa from Wolves, Robin Koch from Freiburg, and Illan Mesler from Lorient.

18 years old Joe Gerhardt from Wigan and Jack Harrison from Man City on a season-long loan. I expect Leeds to finish in a mid-table spot with the potential to become a dark horse of this season, giving hard time to top clubs.

Leicester City (19/20 – 5th in Premier League)

The Foxes have had an amazing season after finishing 5th and getting close to the top four. Because of the Europa League, the club has quickly filled a gap with Timothy Castagne from Atalanta after Ben Chilwell’s transfer to Chelsea. They have also linked Leicester with a big prospect Wesley Fofana and James Tarkowski from Burnley in the last days. 

I can’t see Leicester finishing again in top six with all the additional Europa League fixtures this season. I think a solid top half finish is most likely for the Foxes.

Liverpool (19/20 – 1st in Premier League)

The current Premier League champions should have plenty of reasons to be excited. However, no significant transfers have been made, apart from signing of the left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas from Olympiacos. The fan favourite Salah-Lovren club bromance has ended after Croatian getting moved to Zenit, whilst Adam Lallana has gone to Brighton.

Barcelona are set to sign Georginio Wijnaldum, which could happen before the end of this transfer window.  I don’t think Liverpool will yet again register such an outstanding season, therefore could see them finishing below Manchester City.

Manchester City (19/20 – 2nd in Premier League)

Man City has finished 2nd and is looking forward to sealing a championship this time around. Pep Guardiola’s side has been strengthened with the new signings of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth and three prospects: Ferran Torres, Yan Couto and Issa Kabore. In the opposite direction, Leroy Sane has changed Man City for Bayern for just £40m.

Legend David Silva has gone to Real Sociedad after his 10-year journey with the club, and Claudio Bravo has strengthened Real Betis for free. I see Man City as the strongest candidate to seal a championship this season and close the gap on Liverpool.

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Manchester United (19/20 – 4th in Premier League)

Man Utd has finished 3rd last season. Donny van de Beek who has completed his move from Ajax was the only transfer made for the Red Devils so far. Since Dean Henderson’s amazing season in Sheffield United, the No.1 spot in goal will now settle between the Englishman and David de Gea.

Alexis Sanchez has left the club on a free transfer by joining Inter Milan and Tahith Chong strengthened Werder Bremen on a season-long loan. I can see Man Utd finishing in top4 and even shockingly outperforming clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea by achieving 2nd place.

Newcastle United (19/20 – 13th in Premier League)

Newcastle has finished 13th for the second consecutive season. Despite the sale of the club falling through, the Toon have signed Jeff Hendrick from Burnley, but it is Callum Wilson’s transfer from Bournemouth that has been on everyone’s lips these last days. With the help of the Englishman, Steve Bruce expects to resolve once and for all the club’s number nine position.

With the addition of Ryan Fraser, also from Bournemouth, I can see Newcastle finishing more or less in the same position as in 2019/20.

Sheffield United (19/20 – 9th in Premier League)

Sheffield United has been remarkable this season. Not only they have finished 9th, but they have also shown their great defensive potential along the season. Since Dean Henderson’s departure, the club has filled the gap with Aaron Ramsdale in goal from relegated Bournemouth. The club has also signed a Derby County duo Joyden Bogle and Max Lowe on a four-year deal and Ethan Ampadu from Chelsea on a season-long loan deal.

It would come as a surprise if the Blades register yet again such an amazing season. I can see them finish between 10th and 15th place this time around.

Southampton (19/20 – 11th in Premier League)

The Saints with the season’s biggest surprise Danny Ings in front, who has been placed 2nd in a golden boot race, have finished respectively 11th last season. The club has sealed Kyle Walker-Peters on a definitive transfer from Spurs this time, and 21 years old Mohammed Salisu from Real Valladolid who is believed to give the team more comfort on a centre-back position.

Southampton will play without Hojbjerg, Reed and Yoshida since their departures this summer. I think Southampton’s potential is big enough to seal a top half spot. However, it would be a difficult goal to achieve.

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Tottenham Hotspur (19/20 – 6th in Premier League)

Spurs after sacking Mauricio Pochettino on 19th November hired Jose Mourinho and progressed from 14th to 6th, which means we will see the Londoners in Europa League this season. They have strengthened the team with Matt Doherty from Wolves, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton and Joe Hart from Burnley.

Jan Vertonghen has, however, left the club and continued his career in Benfica. I can see Spurs finishing in the top six this season.

West Bromwich Albion (19/20 – 2nd in EFL Championship)

West Brom is the last out of the three new Premier League promoted teams after finishing 2nd in Championship last season. The club has completed the transfer of Matheus Pereira by giving the Brazilian a 4-year contract after his season-long loan with The Baggies. One of the West Ham’s biggest prospects, Grady Diangana, has also completed a move to West Brom from West Ham.

Sadly Nathan Ferguson’s has departed to Crystal Palace on a free transfer; they see the Englishman as a huge prospect. I can see West Brom finishing in the relegation zone. However, the team has the potential to battle their way through.

West Ham United (19/20 – 16th – Premier League)

West Ham has finished 16th and got close to getting relegated to Championship. Their transfer shenanigans have seen no new arrivals, besides the definitive transfer of Tomas Soucek from Slavia Praha. The club has let go of the very prospective winger Grady Diangana, which has been criticised by the fans and the team in the last days. The likes of Albian Ajeti, Jordan Hugill, Roberto, Carlos Sanchez and ex-Man City player Pablo Zabaleta have also left the club this summer. 

I can see West Ham having a hard time to deal with the Premier League reality for yet another season, but ultimately finishing more or less in the same position.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (19/20 – 7th in Premier League)

Wolves got very close to qualifying to Europa for another consecutive season by finishing 7th with only a little goal difference separating them from 6th Spurs. They have made a club-record signing of 18-year-old Fabio Silva for 40m euros from Porto and additionally filled a gap with Marcal from Lyon after Matt Doherty’s departure to Spurs.

Helder Costa who has been on a season-long loan with Leeds has now completed a definitive transfer to The Whites. I can see Wolves easily sealing top half finish once again and likely qualify for the Europa League again.

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Who are the favourites to win the 2020/21 Premier League?

  • Manchester City – 9/11*
  • Liverpool – 9/4*
  • Chelsea – 9/1*
  • Manchester United – 14/1*

*Odds as of the time of writing (Tuesday 8th September) and subject to change.

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Okan is currently working on his bachelor degree from Business&Marketing in Football. Okan is a huge sports enthusiast and fan of both Galatasaray and Manchester United.


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